This week at TNYDP I’ll be listing some of the great episodes from NPR’s Piano Jazz.
Host Marian McPartland tried for years to line-up elusive pianist Keith Jarrett for a Piano Jazz session. Following his stellar performance at Carnegie Hall in 2005, McPartland confronted the elusive performer and convinced him to put in an appearance on her show. The Allentown, Pa., native graciously invited McPartland and a small crew to his home studio, a converted barn next to his 18th-century farmhouse. The intimate setting and the chemistry between the two made for an exhilarating session.
Jarrett plays totally in the moment — he sits down at the piano with no musical pre-conceptions.
“Usually if I have an idea it locks me in its little room and keeps me there unless I get rid of it before I put my hands on a keyboard,” Jarrett says.
Appropriately, he begins the session with a lyrical, improvised piece reminiscent of jazz great Bill Evans and classical composer Aaron Copland. It’s a complete musical idea of which McPartland says, “Lovely chords!”